John Wetton

I will never forget finding Mogul Thrash, before I knew who was in them.  It was a terrible album on RCA UK.

Later, I discovered John Wetton was the bassist of Family, a band I loved very much.  I still think his best work was with Family.

Later still, he joined King Crimson…then Asia…had a solo career…while there are those who favor his K.C. activities, I always loved his work on “Fearless” and “Bandstand”, making my favorite Family 45 “Burlesque”.


Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Happy birthday Keith Emerson (1944) and comedienne Goldie Hawn (1945).  According to my book, today is the day that Bill Haley & The Comets “Rock Around The Clock” is released in 1955.

EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER – the keyboard player of The Nice;  The singer of King Crimson and the drummer of Atomic Rooster!  Over the years, I have collected a few variants…

LP                    BEST OF, THE                                                                                        ATLANTIC US         SD 19283      1980

1980 9 TRKS stereo LP collection


CD                   BRAIN SALAD SURGERY                                                                      RHINO US              R2 72459      1973

1996 9 TRKS stereo CD, 3D cover

CD                   BRAIN SALAD SURGERY                                                                      VICTOR JPN           VICP-62118   1973

2002 5 TRKS Stereo CD Kami sleeve

LP                    BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (DE) original                                               MANTICORE DE    87302 XOT    1973

1973 8 TRKS stereo LP poster, gimmix cover

LP                    BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (DE) re-issue                                              MANTICORE DE    87302 XOT    1973

1973 8 TRKS stereo LP re-issue

CD                   BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (Deluxe 2CD)                                             SANCTUARY EU     5308195       1973

2008 19 TRKS stereo 2CD

DVD                BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (DVD) 5.1                                                    RHINO US              R9 75980      1973

2000 9 TRKS 5.1 (1 x bonus track)

LP                    BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (Jpn)                                                            MANTICORE JPN   P-10114M     1973

1973 8 TRKS stereo LP insert, poster; gimmix cover

SA-CD             BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (SA-CD) 5.1                                                SANCTUARY EU     5308195       1973

2008 8 TRKS SA-CD Hybrid issue + 2CD

LP                    BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (US)                                                             MANTICORE US    MC 66669     1973

1973 8 TRKS stereo LP with poster, gimmix cover


7″                    BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (Excerpts) flexi                                          MANTICORE UK    LYN 2762       1973

1973 2 TRKS flexidisc, with pic sleeve


CD                   EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER                                                              RAZOR & TIE UK   33472            1970

2012 18 TRKS stereo CD

LP                    EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER                                                              ISLAND UK             ILPS 9132      1970

1970 6 TRKS stereo LP original UK edition

SHM-CD         EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER                                                              VICTOR JPN           VICP-64562   1970

2008 6 TRKS stereo SHM-CD Kami sleeve

LP                    EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER (2LP)                                                    M.O.V. NL              MOVLP 590  1970

2012 18 TRKS stereo 2LP re-issue, insert

LP                    EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER (DE)                                                      MANTICORE DE    87224 ET       1970

1970 6 TRKS stereo, 2nd edition re-issue

DVD                EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER (DVD) 5.1                                            RAZOR & TIE UK   33472            1970

2012 18 TRKS DVD-A 5.1

LP                    EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER (FR)                                                      ISLAND FR             6339 026      1970

1970 6 TRKS stereo

LP                    EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER re-issue                                               MANTICORE UK    K 43503         1970

1970 6 TRKS stereo, 2nd edition Manticore re-issue


7″                    FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN – PART 1                                 ATLANTIC US         3398              1977

1977 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                    FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN / BRAIN SALAD SURGERY    ATLANTIC UK        K 10946         1977

1977 2 TRKS no pic sleeve


7″                    FROM THE BEGINNING (mono) / (stereo)                                       COTILLION US       44158            1972

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                    FROM THE BEGINNING / LIVING SIN                                                 COTILLION US       45-44158      1972

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve


LP                    IN CONCERT                                                                                         ATLANTIC US         SD 19255      1979

1979 8 TRKS stereo LP Live album


CD                   ISLE OF WIGHT 1970                                                                          EAGLE US               EV 30135-9   1970

2006 4 TRKS stereo CD Live 1970

DVD                ISLE OF WIGHT 1970 (DVD)                                                               EAGLE US               EV 30135-9   1970

2006 DVD video Live 1970


7″                    JERUSALEM / WHEN THE APPLE BLOSSOMS IN THE…                   MANTICORE UK    K 13503         1973

1973 2 TRKS no pic sleeve


LP                    LOVE BEACH (US)                                                                                ATLANTIC US         SD 19211      1978

1978 7 TRKS stereo LP insert


7″                    LUCKY MAN (Edit) promo                                                                  COTILLION US       45-44106      1970

1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo


7″                    LUCKY MAN / FROM THE BEGINNING re-issue                               ATLANTIC US         OS 13153      1980

1980? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, re-issue


7″                    LUCKY MAN / KNIFE-EDGE (PS) (NL)                                                 ISLAND NL             6014 041      1970

1970 2 TRKS with pic sleeve


CD                   LUCKY MAN AND OTHER HITS                                                           RHINO US              R2 72922      1997

1997 7 TRKS stereo CD collection


7″                    NUTROCKER (US) (mono) / (stereo) promo                                    COTILLION US       44151            1972

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                    NUTROCKER / GREAT GATES OF KIEV, THE (JPN) (PS)                    ATLANTIC JPN       P-1128A        1972

1972 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                    NUTROCKER / GREAT GATES OF KIEV, THE (US)                              COTILLION US       44151            1972

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve


LP                    ON TOUR WITH promo-only                                                             ATLANTIC US         PR 281           1977

1977 2 TRKS stereo LP interview, promo-only


CD                   PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION                                                             VICTOR JPN           VICP-62116   1971

2002 12 TRKS Stereo CD Kami sleeve

LP                    PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION                                                             ISLAND UK             HELP 1           1971

1971 13 TRKS stereo LP Live album, inserts

LP                    PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION (DE)                                                     ISLAND DE             85854 XT       1971

1971 12 TRKS stereo LP re-issue

DVD                PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION (DVD)                                                  D2 VISION              ADVDP 002   1970

1970 42m

LP                    PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION (Mex)                                                 ATLANTIC MEX     LDWA 5033  1971

1981 12 TRKS stereo LP Live album, Mexican pressing

LP                    PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION re-issue                                              MANTICORE UK    K 33501         1971

1971 12 TRKS stereo LP re-issue


CD                   RETURN OF THE MANTICORE, THE – Disc #1                                   VICTORY US           480029.2      1993

1993 12 TRKS stereo CD collection


7″                    STONE OF YEARS (US) (mono) / (stereo) promo                            COTILLION US       44131            1971

1971 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                    STONE OF YEARS / TIME AND A PLACE (US)                                   COTILLION US       45-44131      1971

1971 2 TRKS no pic sleeve


CD                   TARKUS                                                                                                 RAZOR & TIE UK   33482            1971

2012 17 TRKS stereo CD

LP                    TARKUS                                                                                                 ISLAND UK             ILPS 9155      1971

1971 7 TRKS stereo LP original UK edition

SHM-CD         TARKUS                                                                                                 VICTOR JPN           VICP-64563   1971

2008 7 TRKS stereo SHM-CD Kami sleeve

LP                    TARKUS (DE)                                                                                        ISLAND DE             85527 IT        1971

1971 7 TRKS stereo LP

DVD                TARKUS (DVD) 5.1                                                                               RAZOR & TIE UK   33482            1971

2012 18 TRKS DVD-A 5.1

LP                    TARKUS (IT) re-issue                                                                           MANTICORE IT      ORL 8214      1971

1971 7 TRKS stereo LP re-issue

LP                    TARKUS (Jpn)                                                                                       ATLANTIC JPN       P-10126A      1971

1976 7 TRKS stereo LP insert, re-issue


7″                    TIGER IN A SPOTLIGHT (Live) / PETER GUNN (Live)                        ATLANTIC US         3641              1979

1979 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo


7″                    TIGER IN A SPOTLIGHT / ALL I WANT IS YOU                                  ATLANTIC US         3555              1978

1978 2 TRKS no pic sleeve


CD                   TRILOGY                                                                                                VICTOR JPN           VICP-63174   1972

2005 9 TRKS stereo CD Kami sleeve

LP                    TRILOGY (DE)                                                                                       MANTICORE DE    87227 XOT    1972

1972 9 TRKS stereo LP


LP                    WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS…                                                        MANTICORE UK    K 63500         1974

1974 10 TRKS stereo 3LP Live album


CD                   WORKS Vol. 1                                                                                      SHOUT US              10785            1977

2008 14 TRKS stereo 2CD

LP                    WORKS Vol. 1 (US)                                                                              ATLANTIC US         SD2-7000      1977

1977 13 TRKS stereo 2LP


CD                   WORKS Vol. 2                                                                                      SHOUT US              10788            1977

2008 12 TRKS stereo CD collection

CD                   WORKS Vol. 2                                                                                      VICTOR JPN           VICP-64231   1977

2008 12 TRKS stereo CD collection

LP                    WORKS Vol. 2 (US)                                                                              ATLANTIC US         SD 19147      1977

1977 12 TRKS stereo LP collection

Emerson Lake & Palmer 45’s

Happy birthday to Paul Simonon (of The Clash) (1955) and Dave Clark (of the Dave Clark Five) (1942).

Emerson, Lake & Palmer 45’s!

7″                  BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (Excerpts) flexi                                             MANTICORE UK   LYN 2762

1973 2 TRKS flexidisc, with pic sleeve

7″                  FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN – PART 1                                     ATLANTIC US       3398

1977 2 TRKS no pic sleeve


1977 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  FROM THE BEGINNING (mono) / (stereo)                                             COTILLION US     44158

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  FROM THE BEGINNING / LIVING SIN                                                    COTILLION US     45-44158

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  JERUSALEM / WHEN THE APPLE BLOSSOMS IN THE…                 MANTICORE UK   K 13503

1973 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  LUCKY MAN (Edit) promo                                                                         COTILLION US     45-44106

1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  LUCKY MAN / FROM THE BEGINNING re-issue                                  ATLANTIC US       OS 13153

1980? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, re-issue

7″                  LUCKY MAN / KNIFE-EDGE (PS)                                                            ISLAND NL            6014 041

1970 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                  NUTROCKER (mono) / (stereo)                                                               COTILLION US     44151

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  NUTROCKER / GREAT GATES OF KIEV, THE                                      COTILLION US     44151

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  NUTROCKER / GREAT GATES OF KIEV, THE (PS)                             ATLANTIC JPN     P-1128A

1972 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                  STONE OF YEARS (mono) / (stereo)                                                      COTILLION US     44131

1971 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  STONE OF YEARS / TIME AND A PLACE                                              COTILLION US     45-44131

1971 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  TAKE A PEBBLE (PS)                                                                                ATCO US               PR 176

1972 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, promo-only

7″                  TIGER IN A SPOTLIGHT (Live) / PETER GUNN (Live)                        ATLANTIC US       3641

1979 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  TIGER IN A SPOTLIGHT / ALL I WANT IS YOU                                     ATLANTIC US       3555

1978 2 TRKS no pic sleeve


Perhaps not the first group you think of, in terms of 45’s. I’ve been on the lookout for ELP 45’s for a few decades now. What I have managed to find is listed above. No, not going to discuss the solo Greg Lake or Keith Emerson 45’s today, just the stuff here.


Some of these were “around”, and stuff like the UK flexidisc were given to me by (the late) Tony Harrington. Mr. Harrington worked in some capacity for Manticore Records.

The Dutch 45 of “Lucky Man” b/w “Knife-Edge” was found in Concerto Records in Amsterdam. The “Stones Of Years” stock copy was found at Crossroads Music in Portland, OR last year. Somewhat needless to say, the “Nutrocker” Japanese 45 was found at a Disk Union in the Tokyo area.

Eddie Jobson

Happy birthday to violinist / keyboardist Eddie Jobson (1955)!

It’s really quite amazing that Mr. Jobson was in Roxy Music, Yes, Curved Air, U.K., Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa’s band and a version of King Crimson!


And for some reason, I always associate his violin playing with Todd Rundgren. Not 100% certain that this is so, but that’s what’s stuck in my abiding memory.


Roxy Music was always a bit of a ‘revolving door’ for anybody who wasn’t Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera or Andy Mackay. Curved Air had their ups and downs, with members coming and going, as does Jethro Tull; interesting that a British person infiltrated Zappa’s band, but he wasn’t the first – that would be Aynsley Dunbar!


A few years ago, I saw a version of U.K. on a stage at the Universal Ampitheatre; only thing I remember about that show was that John Wetton looked as though he hadn’t missed many meals; and, of course, dear old Steve Howe is presently the Don Knotts of progressive rock. Plus there was an attraction to see Geoff Downes!


I never had any time for Mr. Jobson’s “Zinc – The Green Album”, my loss? Guess he never sufficiently impressed me with his progressive rock prowess.


Well, today is his birthday, so I presume everything is now permitted. Truly a ‘sideman’, Jobson contributed things to all of the aforementioned artists, but was never the draw card. Well, not for me anyway. I’ll be honest, I had to look him up to see if he was English or not!

Island Records Boxed Set (1988)

Island Records Boxed Set

I recently bought the 25th anniversary boxed set of Island Records (UK). It’s a 1988 7LP boxed set! I absolutely never knew it existed! Island UK IBX 25.

I remember getting these wonderful 40th anniversary CD’s:

CD                Vol. 1 – SKA’S THE LIMIT ’59-’64                     ISLAND US       524393      1997 20 TRK Compilation

CD                Vol. 2 – RHYTHM & BLUES ’64-’69                 ISLAND US       524394      1997 20 TRK Compilation

CD                Vol. 3 – ACOUSTIC WAVES ’68-’75                 ISLAND US       524376      1998 16 TRK Compilation

CD                Vol. 4 – ELECTRIC CURRENTS ’66 -’75       ISLAND US       524427      1998 14 TRK Compilation

And, of course, the CD boxed set re-issue:

CDx3           STRANGELY STRANGE, BUT ODDLY NORMAL 1967 – 1972           ISLAND UK            UMC 8472

2009 46 TRKS booklet, 1967 – 1972 recordings

But back to my 25th anniversary boxed set, “Island Life” – 67 tracks, and still includes all of the EG Records and Chrysalis Records material (Roxy Music, King Crimson, Jethro Tull etc.) This is what lets the later editions down a bit, not having these groups. The 1988 LP mastering sounds great, nice & crisp, lots of bass etc.

Spencer Davis Group, Free, Spooky Tooth, Mott The Hoople, Traffic, Jim Capaldi, Art (pre-Spooky Tooth), Jethro Tull, Heavy Jelly, Heads Hands & Feet, Bryan Ferry6, Brian Eno, Roxy Music, King Crimson, Bad Company, John Cale, Paul Kossof (Free), Robert Palmer, Kevin Ayers…and then the folk stuff! Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson, Fotheringay, John Martyn (and John & Beverly Martyn), Nick Drake, Albion Country Band, The Bunch, Renaissance, Sutherland Brothers, Cat Stevens, Incredible TSring Band, Murray Head, Sandy Denny, Mike Heron (ISB). Then up-to-80’s-date stuff with Steve Winwood, Bob Marley, John Martyn, Tom Petty, Ultravox (with John Foxx), The B-52’s, Marianne Faithfull, Was (Not Was), Grace Jones. Reggae represented, too – Linton Kwesi Johnson, Black Uhuru, Aswad, Steel Pulse, Third World, Sly & Robbie – but I did note that they say there’s also a reggae LP boxed set “to be released later”, and I don’t have specifics about that LP boxed set. We finish off with Trouble Funk, Courtney Pine, Julian Cope, The Triffids, Tom Waits, The Waterboys, U2, Art of Noise, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Tom Tom Club etc.

So, for me, the beginning of the boxed set is more interesting than the end of the boxed set, but I can see where it would interest other people in a reverse situation.

I used to write letters to this label, in the early 70’s and they graciously sent me several catalogues. My young self couldn’t fully understand that it was leading to wanting to “collect labels”, but I did duly buy all of the Island Records UK LP’s & 45’s that I could reasonably lay my hands on.

Yes, there are Island Records’ titles I have never seen. No, I don’t already have them all. I wish I did! For in 2014, Island are just a part of Universal Records, England – and not of as much interest, to me.

Progressive rock on Audiophile Formats

2013 SHM-CD Toshiba / Virgin Japan

On 7/25/64, the original soundtrack LP “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles charted at No. 1 in the US.  On 7/27/68 the Tom Jones 45 “Help Yourself” charts at No. 3 in England.


There is scheduled to be an SA-CD boxed set of the Atlantic Records works of Yes released in Japan this coming September.  At over $400, this will take some consideration; be advised that I am an advocate of the SA-CD format.  Will it mean I can get rid of all of my other Yes CD’s, SA-CD’s and DVD-A’s?

A while back, I sought out an SA-CD boxed set from England for the Charisma Records works of Genesis (their ‘first’ box, 1970 – 1975), their first 5 Charisma albums and a bonus disc.  I got rid of all of my regular Genesis CD’s – but none of the 45’s or LP’s.  Why?  They are extremely nice ‘packages’ – a pleasure to view.  In fact, I just got Toshiba / Virgin / Charisma kami (paper) sleeves for “Foxtrot” and “Selling England By The Pound” – as the packaging in the SA-CD boxed set left a bit to be desired.

And the best work of The Moody Blues is entirely available as SA-CD’s – again, no boxed set – that I am aware of.


Mainstream progressive rock is particularly taken care of, in the “high end audio” universe – all of the ‘good’ King Crimson albums have CD + DVD-A packages (and no boxed set?);  There’s no good boxed set available for Jethro Tull, either.  There are “nice” versions of “Aqualung” and “Thick As A Brick” available, but it takes the Japanese to come up with the really aesthetically pleasing packaging of the early Jethro Tull albums.  So, I did keep my Toshiba / Chrysalis kami (paper) sleeve CD’s – despite having “Deluxe” packages for “Aqualung” etc.

There are a few other “Deluxe” packages as CD + DVD-A that I enjoy – of particular note is Caravan’s “In The Land of Grey & Pink” – probably the most obscure title available in 5.1 audio!  As of this writing, my 5.1 version of Quatermass has yet to arrive from England, so the previous sentence still holds true – at this time.

And I have yet to see the deluxe versions of Gentle Giant albums, re-mixed to 5.1 – but likely I’ll be buying those ones for the first time, as I stopped with “In A Glass House” at the time.  I can hear it now, but not at the time.  They seemed so mainstream!

So, bring on the less-mainstream UK 70’s progressive rock in audiophile formats!  How about an Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come SA-CD boxed set?

Time Machine – March 1973

4-25-13          Time Machine, March 1973

Procol Harum

On 4/27/63 The Beatles 45 “From Me To You” charts at No. 1 in England.  On 4/28/73, the LP “Dark Side Of The Moon” by Pink Floyd charts for the first time at No. 1 in the US.  On 4/26/69 The Beatles 45 “Get Back” charts at No. 1 in England.  Also on 4/26/69 the Cream 45 “Badge” charts at No. 18 in England.

From Strange Days magazine in Japan – these are the March 1973 LP releases:

Pink Floyd “Dark Side Of The Moon” (Harvest Records via EMI UK; LP comes with 2 posters and 2 stickers); King Crimson “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic” (Island Records UK); Roxy Music “For Your Pleasure” (Island Records UK); T. Rex “Tanx” (T. Rex Records via EMI UK); Led Zeppelin “Houses of the Holy” (Atlantic Records UK); Procol Harum “Grand Hotel” (Chrysalis Records via Island Records UK; LP comes with a large booklet); Argent “In Deep” (Epic Records via CBS UK); Mahavishnu Orchestra “Birds of Fire” (Columbia Records US); Donovan “Cosmic Wheels” (Epic Records via CBS UK); Humble Pie “Eat It” (A&M Records UK); Todd Rundgren “A Wizard, A True Star” (Bearsville Records via Warner Brothers US); and Tangerine Dream “Atem” (Ohr Records, Germany).

I believe I heard Pink Floyd before “DSOTM”, so I didn’t rush to it.  I was all over the King Crimson LP, even saw them live on this tour.  Bought the Roxy Music pretty much straight away, too.  Wasn’t too interested in T. Rex by 1973, but I did eventually buy a copy.  No go on the Led Zep LP – no interest.  The Procol Harum LP was a real favorite.  Eventually got the Argent LP, but not at the time.  Didn’t get the Mahavishnu Orchestra until I found a Japanese CD of it – never owned an LP of it.  A pretty good Donovan album, US copy had more elaborate packaging than the UK copy.  No go on Humble Pie or Todd Rundgren.  Hadn’t done Tangerine Dream yet, all of that started with “Phaedra” about 1974 or so.  I just checked, and I don’t even have a copy of “Atem”!

In 1973, I was still in Junior High School.  I don’t think my brother had gotten out of the Air Force yet, so there wasn’t anybody to discuss rock music, at that time.  I was desiring to expand my horizons, mostly with European music.

King Crimson

3-13-13          Where does King Crimson derive it’s musical roots?


Happy birthday, Neil Sedaka (born 1939).  On 3/13/65 The Rolling Stones 45 “The Last Time” charts at No. 1 in England.

So, how do we arrive at King Crimson?  More specifically, how did they think of “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “Pictures From A City”?

Mr, Fripp really liked British jazz – he even pinched an album title from a British jazz record (“Starless and Bible Black”) by Stan Tracey, a British jazz pianist.  My guess is that the heavy music on the two aforementioned songs at least partially derives from other heavy music of the day, band like Atomic Rooster (themselves deriving from the Crazy World of Arthur Brown), Rare Bird (K.C. later inherited a post-RB drummer, Andrew McCulloch), or possible even the fore-runners of Uriah Heep or Black Sabbath (Spice and Earth, respectively).  What else was ‘heavy’ in England, pre-’69?

King Crimson utilized the mellotron likely because of either The Beatles or The Moody Blues.  Indeed, “In The Court of…” would seem to derive from either Procol Harum or The Moody Blues.

Just like King Crimson (but pre-dating them), Procol Harum had a non-performing lyricist in Keith Reid – it was not lost on me that Pete Sinfield was only the second time I’d heard of a British group utilizing a non-performing lyricist.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always heard a bit of East of Eden in K.C.’s works – and they were a label mate with Giles, Giles & Fripp!  And what of Love Sculpture?  Super fast (Dave Edmunds) guitar playing, esoteric choices of what material to cover etc.  Now they were pre-’69 and reasonably ‘heavy’!

1969?  Let’s also look to Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Traffic, Spooky Tooth…and eventually to Yes, EL&P, Genesis (on Decca) and Renaissance – notable that Traffic, Spooky Tooth, EL&P and Renaissance were all on the same original label as King Crimson – Island Records UK.

If we examine Giles, Giles & Fripp a bit further – they also seemed to enjoy a spot of “messing about” – a la The Goon Show.  Musically, GG&F are somewhat obviously influenced by UK pop music of the day (1968), with a touch of jazz – and some obvious influence by Mr. Fripp’s guitar teacher; and somewhat obviously “the blues”.  It was what sold so many LP’s in England at that time, it would’ve been impossible for them to not have been influenced by “the blues”.

Please do not under-estimate the influence of British jazz on King Crimson.  Mel Collins came from a band called Circus (on Transatlantic Records), Gordon Haskell came from an introspective solo career (ever hear “Sail In My Boat”?) and John Wetton eventually came from both Family and Mogul Thrash (another Colosseum ‘wannabe’).

Scrape off more skin, and we’ll see King Crimson being influenced by Donovan (they used to play “Get Thy Bearings”); Fairport Convention (Judy Dyble sang for Giles, Giles & Fripp – or was it already K.C. by that time?); Soft Machine – they must’ve bumped into each other?  The Soft Machine – ditto.  The aforementioned Arthur Brown!

Needless to say, my life somewhat changed on the day I first took home a King Crimson LP.  Yes, it was their debut album – and thank Christ I heard all of the original King Crimson albums in the order that they were released.

As a young man, I did see King Crimson perform live – on the back of their “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic” album.  Fuck!  How could I be anyone other than who I am now?  My mirror was dipped into that water, and thereafter – all were judged by what I witnessed as a 15-year-old.

Of course, back in the real world – nobody else at school had ever heard of King Crimson.  They were busy listening to “Frampton Comes Alive” or “Bohemian Rhapsody”.  WTF!  (This brings me back to my high school girlfriend, Rose – yow!  That was amazing!  Fucking in a closet at school etc.  Rose, I still love you.   If you’re reading this, give me a call sometime.  (Refined gentleman of 54 years making this statement; all others – please mind your manners.)

If you didn’t have the same experience as I did, you’re either a different age or (haven’t had as much as I have had to drink tonight).  IPA from Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach, CA – a whole fucking growler of it – by myself.  And there’s a lg. bottle of some other IPA in the fridge, I think.

What a path!  We were talking about King Crimson – and now I’m pining for my high school GF.

And Again…CD Re-Mastering

9-5-12             And Again…CD Re-Mastering

Queen singer Freddie Mercury born 1946, Singer / Songwriter Loudon Wainwright III born 1946

Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s debut album has been around since the fall of 1970 – I first encountered it probably some time in 1971 – hopeful to see what the former King Crimson vocalist Greg Lake had gotten up to with the keyboard player of The Nice (Keith Emerson) and the drummer of Atomic Rooster, Carl Palmer.  The debut album is rather good – and not too many guitars!

The US Cotillion Records version of the album has rather ‘thin’ sound, for some reason.  Within a year or so, I found an Island Records UK version of the album – and was astonished how much ‘better’ it sounded – hey, this actually has some bass and high end!  Ah, 1970 / 1!  I also had an Ampex 8-track tape of this album, with it’s funky purple ‘sleeve’ and tracks faded when ‘tracks’ changed.

When Japanese pressings were becoming available in Los Angeles – one of the first ‘catalog’ albums I ‘requested’ was the late 70’s Atlantic Records LP pressing of the debut album by EL&P – again, lovely sound, like the UK Island LP pressing.

We enter the digital age; I believe the first CD I saw of this album was the WEA US CD, with it’s red-lettered spine – and not such good sound.  Shame I could never turn up an Ariola / Manticore Germany CD of this album, I bet it sounded great – all hissy and full of signal (like the “Tarkus” Ariola / Manticore Germany CD I found in Singapore in 1988).

What?  The Japanese are re-mastering this album on CD?  I got a JVC Japan CD of this title in the early 90’s – better sound.  By 1993, Emerson, Lake & Palmer were one of the first artists to receive the ‘kami sleeve’ treatment – a JVC re-mastering, and a gorgeous little paper album cover.

The new century tumbles along; JVC did 3 or 4 versions of the EL&P catalogue as kami sleeve CD’s.  2008 arrives with news that the Japanese are presenting their newest technology, SHM-CD, now in kami sleeve form – back up to full price (2,800 yen) – supposedly with new mastering, and better disc-construction materials.  OK.  Hey, how many times am I going to buy this album?

Of course, the 2008 SHM-CD of the EL&P debut does sound about as good as this album can sound.  So, in 2012 – a 3 disc set of the debut is scheduled in England, with one of the discs being a 5.1 mix of it as a DVD-A.  Guess I’ll have to go for this version as well.

I lost count as to how many times I’ve bought this album.  Glad to have an Island Records UK original LP of it, and I can keep the Japanese 2008 SHM-CD as the definitive stereo digital version.  I will report on the 5.1 mix of it, when possible.

Time Machine 1972 (Strange Days)

7-26-12          Time Machine 1972 (Strange Days)

Film maker Stanley Kubrick born 1928, Mick Jagger born 1943; I like both; 7-26-80 Magazine “Sweetheart Contract” 45 charts at No. 54 in England.

From issue #153 (August 2012) of Strange Days magazine in Japan: June 1972 albums!  I so totally remember exactly this month, these releases etc.

Pink Floyd “Obscured By Clouds” (Harvest UK LP SHSP 4020); King Crimson “Earthbound” (Island UK LP HELP 6); Jethro Tull “Living In The Past” (Chrysalis / Island UK 2LP CJT 1/2); David Bowie “Ziggy Stardust” (RCA UK LP SF 8287); Roxy Music “Roxy Music” (debut) (Island UK LP ILPS 9200); Alice Cooper “School’s Out” (Warner Brothers US LP BS 2623); John Lennon & Yoko Ono “Sometime In New York City” (Apple US 2LP SVBB-3392); Free “Free At Last” (Island UK LP ILPS 9192); and Aphrodite’s Child “666” (Vertigo UK 2LP 6673 001).

I own every LP on this list; I bought most of them as new releases.

I heard “Obscured By Clouds” being played in a hippie record store, and liked what I heard.  I will confess to disappointment, when I finally got to see the film that it’s a soundtrack for.  But it’s a great Pink Floyd album, in the new “Hey, it’s the 70’s” style.

I would’ve bought whatever King Crimson released by 1972, and “Earthbound” was no exception.  Even as a youth, I was a bit put off by the poor quality sound (an LP mastered from a board cassette?), but I listened and believed.  Not an essential K.C. release, not even their best live album.

The best thing about “Living In The Past” was that it finally made available the British J.T. 45’s that I couldn’t find at the time, apart from the glorious track “17”.  Not a ‘best of’ per se, but…a collection of pretty good songs.

I bought “Ziggy Stardust” and “Roxy Music” on the same day; R.M. had the K.C. connection.  But Bowie was being written about.

I waited on the Alice Cooper album; by ’72, it didn’t look like I had to have everything they did anymore.

I would’ve waited longer, but Frank Zappa was on the John Lennon / Yoko Ono 2LP set.

Only the Free and Aphrodite’s Child came later for me.  I was 100% aware of both releases, but I was not following Free anymore, after “All Right Now”.  I actually heard Aphrodite’s Child on the FM radio, so actual evidence indicated that I could spend the $6 on something more to my developing taste.